Thursday, January 13, 2011

External Ear Canal Infections

Okay, I have not been swimming since this past summer and I didn't even stick my head under the water.  Last Monday my left ear began to feel funny.  It went from feeling funny to sounding like something was sssshhhhh in my ear, then, I could feel my heart beating so bad in my ear that I could not sleep.  I decided it was time to go to the doctor. She looked at it and said it was an external ear canal infection, "swimmer's ear" in layman terms.  She decided to irrigate it.  A syringe with very warm water was placed in my ear with an extreme amount of pressure to flush out anything in my ear.  It hurt!  After they dried my neck and ear out the doctor came back in and looked again.  Puss, puss was lingering.  No wonder it hurt so bad.  She prescribed me some drops and put me on antibiotics.  Four days later it is some better but not as much as I had hoped for.  I still am not sleeping well because of the sssshhhh sound in my ear and the loss of hearing I have developed.  I hope soon to have full use of both my ears as I hate having to turn the other cheek to everyone who speaks to me..................


By Mayo Clinic staff
Swimmer's ear is an infection in the outer ear canal, which runs from your eardrum to the outside of your head. It's often brought on by water that remains in your ear after swimming, creating a moist environment that aids bacterial growth.
Putting fingers, cotton swabs or other objects in your ears also can lead to swimmer's ear by damaging the thin layer of skin lining your ear canal.
Swimmer's ear is also known as acute external otitis or otitis externa. The most common cause of this infection is bacteria invading the skin inside your ear canal. Swimmer's ear is usually treated successfully with eardrops. Prompt treatment can help prevent complications and more-serious infections.


By Mayo Clinic staff
Outer ear infection
Swimmer's ear symptoms are usually mild at first, but they may get worse if your infection isn't treated or spreads. Doctors often classify swimmer's ear according to mild, moderate and advanced stages of progression.
Mild signs and symptoms
■Itching in your ear canal
■Slight redness inside your ear
■Mild discomfort that's made worse by pulling on your outer ear (pinna, or auricle) or pushing on the little "bump" (tragus) in front of your ear
■Some drainage of clear, odorless fluid
Moderate progression
■More intense itching
■Increasing pain
■More extensive redness in your ear
■Excessive fluid drainage
■Discharge of pus
■Feeling of fullness inside your ear and partial blockage of your ear canal by swelling, fluid and debris
■Decreased or muffled hearing

Advanced progression
■Severe pain that may radiate to your face, neck or side of your head
■Complete blockage of your ear canal
■Redness or swelling of your outer ear
■Swelling in the lymph nodes in your neck

When to see a doctor
Contact your doctor if you're experiencing any signs or symptoms of swimmer's ear, even if they're mild.
Call your doctor right away or visit the emergency room if you have severe pain or a fever.


By Mayo Clinic staff

Swimmer's ear is an infection that's usually caused by bacteria commonly found in water and soil. Infections caused by a fungus or a virus are less common.
Your ear's natural defenses
Your outer ear canals have natural defenses that help keep them clean and prevent infection. Protective features include:
■Glands that secrete a waxy substance (cerumen). These secretions form a thin, water-repellant film on the skin inside your ear. Cerumen is also slightly acidic, which helps further discourage bacterial growth. In addition, cerumen collects dirt, dead skin cells and other debris and helps move these particles out of your ear. The waxy clump that results is the familiar earwax you find at the opening of your ear canal.
■Downward slope of your ear canal. Your ear canal slopes down slightly from your middle ear to your outer ear, helping water drain out.
How the infection occurs
If you have swimmer's ear, your natural defenses have been overwhelmed. Conditions that can weaken your ear's defenses and promote bacterial growth include:
Excess moisture in your ear. Heavy perspiration, prolonged humid weather or water that remains in your ear after swimming can create a favorable environment for bacteria.
■Scratches or abrasions in your ear canal. Cleaning your ear with a cotton swab or hairpin, scratching inside your ear with a finger, or wearing headphones or hearing aids can cause small breaks in the skin that allow bacteria to grow.
■Sensitivity reactions. Hair products or jewelry can cause allergies and skin conditions that promote infection.

Risk factors

By Mayo Clinic staff

Factors that may increase your risk of swimmer's ear include:


■Swimming in water with elevated bacteria levels, such as a lake rather than a well-maintained pool

■A narrow ear canal — for example, in a child — that can more easily trap water

■Excessive earwax production

■Aggressive cleaning of the ear canal with cotton swabs or other objects

■Use of devices such as headphones, a hearing aid or a swim cap

■Skin allergies or irritation from jewelry, hair spray or hair dyes


By Mayo Clinic staff
Swimmer's ear usually isn't serious if treated promptly, but complications can occur:
■Temporary hearing loss. You may experience muffled hearing that usually gets better after the infection clears up.

■Long-term infection (chronic otitis externa). An outer ear infection is usually considered chronic if signs and symptoms persist for more than three months. Chronic infections are more common if there are conditions that make treatment difficult, such as a rare strain of bacteria, an allergic skin reaction, an allergic reaction to antibiotic eardrops, or a combination of a bacterial and fungal infection.

■Deep-tissue infection (cellulitis). Chronic swimmer's ear may result in the spread of infection into deep layers and connective tissues of the skin.

■Bone and cartilage damage (necrotizing otitis externa). An outer ear infection that spreads can cause inflammation and damage to the skin and cartilage of the outer ear and bones of the lower part of the skull, causing increasingly severe pain. Older adults, people with diabetes or people with weakened immune systems are at increased risk of this complication. Necrotizing otitis externa is also known as malignant otitis externa, but it's not a cancer.

■More widespread infection. If swimmer's ear develops into necrotizing otitis externa, the infection may spread and affect other parts of your body, such as the brain or nearby nerves. This rare complication can be life-threatening

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Lone Lilly

My little Lilly growing all alone

How smooth your velvet petal

One day your shining in your glory

Next day your almost gone

I love to see your soft delight

Your sense of dewey love

There is a freshness that dawns for me

In morning's early light



When you were my little sister
Sometimes I didn’t like you much
You were a brat, and ratted on me
When I thought I knew it all

Even though you got spanked
It was a fun ride huh?
Golf carts required no license
So why should that Barracuda?

I always wondered if the keys would
Ever be found
I didn’t tell you then cause
Besides being a brat you tattled

But then we grew up and went separate ways
You grew into a lovely young woman
You were still my little sister
But not the brat I once thought you were

We’ve shared many moments together
Stumbled and fell, yet never failed
To be there for each other
Sisters are that way

My prayer for you this special day
Is to see life come full circle
To know your worth is measured
In the kindness you bestow

We share that special bond
Only sisters can attest
To understand, not judge, just love
No matter how we fail

So be happy, enjoy the rain when you
Hoped the sun would shine
Change only if you want to
Sometimes roses bloom in winter.

By Debbie Aycock Williams 2008

I love you,
Happy Birthday

copyright 2008


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How to treat others.............


The leaves are gone and bare branches solicit the heavens The warm days are spent, lingering blades of grass Glisten from the morning frost Seeking absolution from their iniquities. Ensuing eradication wounds the external covering And when they have relented at last The hope of resurrection rests in the seed That was scattered long ago. By Debbie Aycock Williams copyright 2009

Chloe's and Joleigh's graduation from 6th grade......Katie graduated from 5th Congratulations girls!


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Life's not the breath you take..........Oh my God, they take my breath away!


Kathryn how do I describe the overwhelming pride you bring to my heart?
When I think back to that rainy night you were born until this very day that is
Filled with sunshine and happiness, accomplishments and expectations of what tomorrow holds, I remember a precious first grandchild, What excitement ensued.

From the time you pushed the front door open and went head over heals down the steps and we spent half the morning in the emergency room. Of course you were fine and I was a wreck. The hours we spent reading and playing will always be memories I cherish like no others. Memories of birthday parties, a scared little girl going into the operating room, Christmas and Easters at Granddaddy ‘s and Mama Kitten’s, vicious bathtubs, special times of doing nothing but being together. There are memories here: Toys you played with, books you read, notes you wrote and pictures you drew; Saved in a box with your name on it and They are all here in my heart, the same heart that is filled with love and pride for you Kathryn, For all you stand for, the caring, loving, kind woman you have become. You are one of God’s gifts to me. I love you.

written 2009 for her graduation 2010 Now that she has read this

in her yearbook, I can post it on my blog! I love you Kat!


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As I walk through my garden I touch the tiny leaves
Of my lonely rose bush

It stands all alone, by itself
No other nearby

The hibiscus grow profuselThey entertain each other with colors of purple and white

And mix together as the wind blows
Back and forth

But my little lonely rose bush
Has no other to share its quiet beauty

Only the bees occasionally fly by
And my fingertips when I feel the velvet petal

Someday soon, I shall plant another rosebush
So my lonely rose won't stand alone

And when I no longer walk through the garden
My little rose won't miss my loving touch.

By Debbie Aycock Williams

Copyright 2007